Memories of Garner Valley

Pinyon Jay - Gymnorhinus cyanocephalusGarner Valley is placed between the sky islands of San Jacinto (10,833′) and Santa Rosa (8,717′) in southern Riverside County. My first visit here was June of 2011 with the San Diego Natural History Museum science team. I’d driven past our camping spot at Morris Creek many times when driving to Idyllwild, only nine miles away, to spend a day or two enjoying the upper elevations in Southern California. It hadn’t occurred to me that I should explore this valley during those visits.

The science team’s mission was to resurvey sites studied by Joseph Grinnell and Harry Swarth a hundred years ago. Garner Valley was one of their camps. I followed the team here and discovered the location for myself. My first meeting with Pinyon Jays happened on this visit. I collected as many photos of subjects as I could, hoping that they might help tell the story of the museum’s restudy mission.

Following the camp-out date with the science team I visited again on June 2012, June 2014, and October 2014. Pinyon Jays were my primary target during my June visits, but as a bonus I found Western Kingbird parents feeding a nestling that had fallen to the ground from the nest.

The gallery below shows some of the images I captured during these visits.

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